FAQ #42: How does the relationship between nitrates and phosphates affect my aquarium?

March 15th, 2017
Today on BRStv, we have another episode of BRS 52 FAQ where we answer all of your frequently asked reefing questions from our popular 52 Weeks of Reefing series.

Today we are answering Candelz Reef’s question: "How do I have high nitrates but low phosphates?”

This is actually a very common question, and there are a few common causes of the unbalanced ratio between nitrate and phosphate. There is an ideal ratio called the “Redfield Ratio” that is considered the perfect balance of nitrate to phosphate that is found in phytoplankton. In many cases the perfect ratio cannot be found but that is no reason to worry since it is almost impossible to replicate in a closed system.

Many of the common causes of unbalanced nutrients is the addition of foods and other additives that are not perfectly balanced between nitrates and phosphates. There are also filter medias that will directly remove, nitrates or phosphates, that can cause the ratio to swing as well depending on the specific media used.

So follow along as we discus and take a deeper look into nitrates, phosphates, and how their balance can affect your aquarium.

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